23 April 2013

"Sharing the Burden"

14 Iyyar 5773
Pesach Sheini
Day 29 of the Omer

This phrase - "sharing the burden" - has gained a lot of traction of late, or at least since the campaign leading up to the last elections. Now that the new government has been formed, those who made promises to the portion of the public who traditionally serves in the army that the part who traditionally does not serve in the army will now be forced to do so are eager to get started righting what they consider to be a historic wrong.

The plan to remove a majority of chareidi men from the Beit Midrash to the Basis Tzvai (Military Base) has brought about a lot of controversy and recriminations. But it should not have been so. I consider myself chard"l - chareidi dati leumi. I lean very much to the chareidi side, but it irks even me when I hear some chareidi community representative say that it's up to them to do the Torah learning that protects the nation while the chilonim and dati'im handle the military defense. I wonder who put it to the vote; who decided and who agreed to this division of "labor?"

In an ideal Torah society, which is what we are supposed to be promoting, ALL religious men would be soldiers as well as learners just like Yehoshua Ben Nun and David HaMelech, etc. Did they not live in a real world with real problems of maintaining the mitzvot and setting time to learn while living under less than encouraging conditions?

I think the chareidi rabbis lost a big opportunity when they did not immediately agree and counter that they would agree to share the burden of military service as long as an equal number of chilonim would agree to "share the burden" of Torah learning, which also protects the nation.

I don't think any Jew has the right to tell another that he will be the one to enjoy full-time learning while his brother will risk his life to guard him while he does and him having no say in the matter at all.

"Justice, justice, you shall pursue!"